Apparently the school discovered Javier on this show while conducting a 'background check'. I am skeptical of this but it seems to be an accepted fact. As a result of this discovery CBU sent Javier a letter accusing her of fraud because she had identified herself as female when asked her gender on her application. A few months later Javier was expelled.
This situation raises many questions about official questions of gender (ie college applications), religious affiliated institutions, and other private organizations. A suit has been filed by Javier and her attorney claiming that CBU violated Javier's rights under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act.
Javier's attorney, civil rights attorney Paul Southwick, had a response to the law above. Southwick claims, "California Baptist University is open to the public, regardless of religious belief. CBU also does not have a policy regarding transgender people or gender identity issues....She followed all of CBU’s rules and did not violate any university policies, so she should be treated like any other student.”
Southwick contends that despite the schools religious affiliation it serves a public function and is open to all the public and therefore it is covered under the Unruh Act. “We’re not talking about a private seminary or Bible college. Just because Cal Baptist is a religiously affiliated institution doesn’t give it a right to discriminate,” he says.
Southwick raises an interesting point. Do religious bodies reserve the right to discriminate? And if they do why is that the case? One could say its because of their right to religious freedom but I don't see that as a valid justification. Effectively by saying that you are prioritizing religious right above another right. What makes it 'more important' than a person's right to not be discriminated against? It seems more sensible to say that your right to religious freedom ends where my right to not be discriminated against begins. That way neither is infringing upon the other. Using that line of reasoning though would seem to undermine many positions and practices of religious organizations, which seems to worry many people.
In addition to this Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in sexuality and gender law, speculates that this could be a difficult case for the university to defend. She theorizes it could be difficult because the school has no official policies regarding transgender students. She notes it seems to set up a Catch-22 for transgender students. Goldberg states, "There is no indication from these facts that the student intended to misrepresent herself or her identity to the school...In fact, as the complaint points out, to represent herself as male would have also created the appearance of fraud. It's a we-win-you-lose framework."